Why am I finding these consolidation runs so d... - Couch to 5K

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Why am I finding these consolidation runs so difficult?


BE WARNED LONG POST- I was soooooo chuffed when I graduated a fortnight ago . I might be naive , but I thought after struggling / succeeding , running the extra minutes each week , I would find these consolidation runs easy . Well maybe not EASY per se , but maybe not as horrendous as I am finding them . I certainly have to put Laura and week 9 run 3 on repeat every time I go out . The “ annoying “ ... statements she randomly announces .... at 5 mins ( getting into stride 🙄) , 10 mins ( you re doing well 😳) , 15 mins ( you re half way there - oh God I have to do this all again!!🥵) , 20 mins ( you may want to slow down , don’t want to exert yourself- too 🤬 late for that 🥴), 5 mins left 🙈, 60 seconds to go 🤪)..... whilst doing c25k I hated her poking her head above the parapet and gave her an ear full on a number of occasions 🤷‍♀️. now I find if she s not there I can’t do it . 😳. Maybe it’s because of the current situation. I can’t go and run where I usually run . I have to run around the estate which I m not used to . I seem to go various directions, never do the same run twice and struggle with them all . I just thought I d be able to run for 30 minutes “naturally “ but I can’t !!! I m sorry for the long post . I just thought that with everything going on , this was my one piece of normality , but it’s not as “normal “ ( easy ) as I was hoping it would be 😔........

19 Replies

Firstly, well done carrying on running. Times are so stressful, and while running is good for stress, the opposite doesn’t necessarily apply, so yeah, it can be a little harder to get going and settle into a run, and then that makes the end of the run harder too.

This is also what consolidation is all about... we stop increasing the workload and maintain where we are at until we do find it pretty easy before moving on.

There’s help out there... in the pinned posts we now have a consolidation club for extra support as many people struggle when they remove their coach from their ears. Or, maybe you’d like more coaching? Nike Run Club has guided runs of all lengths and the 30 minute ones and 5k ones with Coach Bennett are simply amazing... he talks a lot more, but will have you running 5k or 30 minutes better quickly.

It’s great to be out there... but with so much going on around us, and the fact there’s a strange nothing physically happening around us, it’s not as easy as it was... but we are runners... we didn’t sign up to something easy, we signed up to be awesome.

JazzyrunnerGraduate in reply to UnfitNoMore

This is just spot on. In fact, it’s made me feel better too, so thank you Unfitnomore. I graduated late last year, and then got up to 10k, but I’ve found my last few runs hard. That weird combination of so much happening out there, but a strange nothingness just here! I do feel better having had that put into words.

Hope you find you can settle into your running, Karen, it will stand us in good stead! You can do it! 🏃🏼‍♀️🙌🏻


After the exhilaration of completing C25K I also thought consolidation runs would be ‘easy’ karen50 and like you I couldn’t do it without taking Laura with me. But by the time I’d done 3 weeks worth of them I suddenly found that, actually, I could and I said a fond farewell to her. Having to run on places your not used to must be frustrating but hang in there - you’ll get there in the end! Happy running!


Well done for completing the programme.

If it helps, I found some of the consolidation runs tough and nearly gave up on a coupke of the runs after 20 minutes. I didn't give up but it was hard.

I think a mindset change is helpful perhaps - try to go out with an open mind and keep it slow. Perhaps change your music If you listen to it, or maybe use one of the guided runs on Nike Run Club? I don't particularly get on with those but maybe they would help?

Rest assured that if you keep at it, it will get easier and enjoyable. I found it all clicked into place after about 3-4 weeks post graduation.

We're all different though - I find having no planned route and just running on rather random routes the best!

Good luck!


When we first introduced the Consolidation Club to aid new graduates, just like you, we had many comments from more seasoned graduates to say what a good idea it was, but very little take up, because most people are just like you and expect it all to be easy..............well, now you know why the Consolidation Club exists........and you can find it here healthunlocked.com/couchto5....

I still think that finding some easily attainable weekly targets will be helpful as it enables you to identify progress, which can sometimes seem a bit sparse otherwise.

Pop over to the Consolidation Club and we can discuss it more and you can read other people's experiences and plans, which will be useful to you.


I was finding them tough to, before I was put under temporary house arrest. So don’t think you’re alone. I’m sure the advice given will help. As ever, all I would say is take it slowly - maybe just set a timer for 30 mins and try a podcast, or the radio, something you’ll actually listen to rather than background noise. Good luck and keep going 😁

Speedy60Graduate in reply to Wenderwoo

Lovely to hear from you. Hope all is well 👍


I hated my first 2 CR also. Didn’t complete the first and barely did the 2nd. Experiment with running apps, music, podcasts. I found today’s run, while hard, was getting better. I needed new scenery to keep my mind busy. I couldn’t listen to Laura one more minute though I couldn’t get thru the program w/o her. I also didn’t like the Nike coached run. Some people love them. Ended up with favorite Pandora channel then all good. Find what works for you. Good luck.

Running isn't easy. I used to run 10 miles in just over an hour (back in the 90's). My wife completed C25K stopped and then went back to it but found C25K couldn't motivate her the same way as before. I suggested she stop using it and do her own thing which she is now doing. Like cycling running is a tough sport you have to work at it. It is said the hardest thing about running is stepping outside the front door...it's all about self motivation.


Just completed my second consolidation run today. It seems like passing your driving test, sense.of achievement but suddenly there's no-one there to tell you when to start, when to stop and how you're doing and you want to experiment with new routes so you suddenly feel very inexperienced. I just put a timer on my phone for 15 minutes and tapped it again as I turned round which worked reasonably well. We're also having to contend with running on to the verge to avoid other people which seems to add to the effort. All the best

karen50plusGraduate in reply to Readandrun

That is a really good analogy Readandrun 👍

I couldn’t have put it better myself ...... just like taking the L plates off the car 🙈. I sort of ran in certain routes and now I n forced to run around the estate I m finding it so much more difficult with all the hills . I know it’s supposed to build stamina but I m not certain I m ready for stamina yet 😳...🐌. Didn’t help today that my earphones ran out of juice and I was running in silence 🙄. I did stop and put the speaker phone on on the phone but it’s weird having my music playing out loud . My choice of music isn’t necessarily for the faint hearted and I had to choose a completely different album to have playing out loud 😂😂😂. I like your 15 minute timer approach . It’s that awful feeling when Laura says you re half way and you realise you have to do all that again 😳🙄🙈🤷‍♀️🏃‍♀️🥴


I'm having similar issues but I did have a really good consolidation period prior to having issues. I'm now back to running 30 minutes and like you finding it more difficult. I'm putting it down to the current situation. I still feel great afterwards though :-) I also used Nike Run club for a while and found Coach Bennet great, now I just stick on some music or a podcast and try not watch the clock!

karen50plusGraduate in reply to Rigpig

Thank you Rigpig . I ve downloaded the Nike run club app and going to give it a go 👍


How about getting some of your favourite tunes together? Ones that you haven't heard for ages. That's what I did. Then I was really looking forward to the next tune. I do find myself that I need to listen to something which consumes my attention so I can't think about how out of puff I am/how my breathing is quite ragged/how thirsty I am and so on and so on. I listen to podcasts from BBC Sounds. I've listened to unsolved crimes/Tunnel 29 and now I'm listening to Table Manners with Jesse Ware. I download them so that I have a continuation of things. It does get easier. There will be a time when you're running and realise that your pace is better or your breathing has improved etc.

Sorry - my reply is rather long too🤭🤣

karen50plusGraduate in reply to 59er

Blimey , you sound like a very technical person - podcasts 😳. I ve heard of them but as for using them 🤷‍♀️. J m bloody hopeless with technology 😱🙈. But it’s a really good idea if I can do it . Normally I would ask someone to help me but I can’t visit anyone - no socialising 😫

59erGraduate in reply to karen50plus

🤣 I'm not that tech savvy! Download BBC Sounds on your phone and just play around with it. Then when you go out just press play! If all else fails Google it!


Another vote for Nike running club app. 👍

Give it time. I graduated in November, but didn't feel like a competent runner until mid January.

Also, you don't have to run for 30 minutes every time you go out. Every third run I used to do a short interval training run. Try googling fartleks; it's billed as 'fun', but I think that might be pushing it a bit. It can make your run more interesting though.

karen50plusGraduate in reply to Speedy60

Don’t have to run for 30 mins 😳 , NOW you tell me 🙄🤣🤣. Not sure fartlark is a proper word , or whether it’s something rude - but hey , if the police come knocking at my door for googling in appropriate stuff at least I ll have someone to talk to - they can’t handcuff me cos they can’t get that close 😈🤣🤣🤣. ..... sorry , in a funny mood . Been painting fence all day and I think the sun has addled my brain 🤯....😂🤣😂🤣😂

Speedy60Graduate in reply to karen50plus

🤣 Lovely to be in a funny mood! We need more funny mood! 🤪🥳

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